Villanova, Pa. – Led by the career-high games of senior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) No. 20 Villanova (6-4, 2-0) claimed a decisive 15-7 win over No. 20 Georgetown (5-4, 1-1) in Villanova Stadium on Wednesday evening.
With the triumph, Head Coach Mike Corrado claimed his 50th career victory as the Wildcats cruised to their second straight conference win of the season to remain undefeated in BIG EAST play. Additionally, Villanova has won five of their last six BIG EAST games dating back to April 23rd, 2011 with an 11-9 win against St. John’s.
The victory also marks the first win over Georgetown in nearly 20 years. The last Wildcat triumph over the Hoyas occurred on April 12th, 1992 in a 8-5 win in Washington, D.C.
Corrado states, “Today might have been our best game from a standpoint of we got off to a good start, we came out in the third quarter and got out to 4-0 lead at the start of the third. I was real happy with how the game went. Tom Croonquist dominated at the face-off X, he won 16-of-19 tonight. He’s doing a great job for us and our offense is getting great shots.”
Small tallied a career-best six points via three goals and three assists while Croonquist set a blistering record at the face-off X winning 84% of his draws, including going 9-for-9 at midfield in the first 30 minutes of play. Junior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) netted his second hat trick of the season and posted four goals for the night including the first three scores of the game within a span of 5:19.
“You always want to get off to a quick start. After coming off of a loss, getting off to a great start is a big confidence booster. We’ve had good starts this year and I was happy that we didn’t let them back in the game to get a run going,” marks Corrado.
After the Hoyas scored consecutive goals in the middle of the second quarter from Dan McKinney and Brian Casey to cut the Villanova lead to 5-3, the Wildcats responded with five straight points from seniors Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.), Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) and Mike Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) and juniors Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) and Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) to extend their lead to 10-3 with 5:17 left in the third period, holding the Hoyas scoreless for 17:07.
The Hoyas would make a three-goal comeback in the fourth quarter with scores from McKinney and C-Jay Engelke but it wouldn’t be enough to thwart the relentless Villanova attack. With 13:25 remaining in the game, Bell, Small and Cunningham pushed the Wildcats lead to their biggest of the night at 14-5, while freshman Ryan DeSimone (Saint James, N.Y.) tallied his first career goal with 1:11 remaining in the contest.
Georgetown’s Reilly O’Connor gave the Hoyas the last score of the game with 1:04 remaining in the contest, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wildcats solidified the victory, 15-7.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, Md.) posted nine saves in the victory while Georgetown’s Matt Winter and CT Fisher combined for 14 in the defeat.
Villanova will be back in action on Saturday, April 7th when they travel to Piscataway, N.J. to face Rutgers at Yurcak Field. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.